Pub. Date:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football

Creating the Big Game: John W. Heisman and the Invention of American Football

by Wiley L. Umphlett


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John W. Heisman (1869-1936) was a man of many faces whose public image has suffered from a diffused, enigmatic, and mostly misunderstood private personality. Since his death the popular reception of the memorial trophy named in his honor has also obscured his identity. In singling out his many innovative contributions to the development of intercollegiate football, this book attempts to present a true picture of Heisman as both man and coach.

Because he coached at schools throughout the country during some of the most eventful years in our history, Heisman's life relates to significant political, economic, and social developments that impacted on American society as well as sports. However, this book is much more than the story of John Heisman's 36-year coaching career. It is also the story of how an indigenous American public ritual—the Big Game—-came about and how college football evolved into the complex, problematic, and highly structured big business that it is today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780313284045
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/26/1992
Series: Contributions to the Study of Popular Culture Series , #34
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile: 1470L (what's this?)

About the Author

WILEY LEE UMPHLETT is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of West Florida. He is the author of numerous publications and books on sports and popular culture.

Table of Contents

Prologue: In Search of a Man and His Game

Young Heisman and the Origins of His Game (1869-1891)

Coach Heisman, Football Missionary: The Game Spreads (1892-1903)

Heisman and the Coming of the Forward Pass (1904-1911)

Heisman and the Shaping of the Modern Game (1912-1919)

Heisman and Football's Golden Age: The Big Game Goes National (1920-1927)

The Inception of the Heisman Trophy: Memorializing the Coach, the Player, and Their Game (1928-1936) Epilogue: The Heisman Legacy

Appendix: "John W. Heisman's Coaching Record, 1892-1927"



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